☝🏻 That’s me right now as I am soooo frickin’ excited to finally be able to share my review of Paul Hardisty’s Absolution! A massive thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda for the ARC and inviting me on the tour – if I missed this tour, I may have just cried! First I’ll share a bit about this fabulous author and the book, before I let loose with the Eeeek’s and OMFG’s in my review!
About The Author
Canadian Paul Hardisty has spent 25 years working all over the world as an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist. He has roughnecked on oil rigs in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, mapped geology in Eastern Turkey (where he was befriended by PKK rebels), and rehabilitated water wells in the wilds of Africa. He was in Ethiopia in 1991 as the Mengistu regime fell, and was bumped from one of the last flights out of Addis Ababa by bureaucrats and their families fleeing the rebels. In 1993 he survived a bomb blast in a cafe in Sana’a, and was one of the last Westerners out of Yemen before the outbreak of the 1994 civil war. Paul is a university professor and CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). He is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia.His debut thriller, The Abrupt Physics of Dying, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger
About The Book
It is 1997, eight months since vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker fled South Africa after his explosive testimony to Desmond Tutu’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In Paris, Rania LaTour, journalist, comes home to find that her son and her husband, a celebrated human rights lawyer, have disappeared. On an isolated island off the coast of East Africa, the family that Clay has befriended is murdered as he watches.
So begins the fourth instalment in the Claymore Straker series, a breakneck journey through the darkest reaches of the human soul, as Clay and Rania fight to uncover the mystery behind the disappearances and murders, and find those responsible. Events lead them both inexorably to Egypt, where an act of the most shocking terrorist brutality will reveal not only why those they loved were sacrificed, but how they were both, indirectly, responsible.
Relentlessly pursued by those who want them dead, they must work together to uncover the truth, and to find a way to survive in a world gone crazy. At times brutal, often lyrical, but always gripping, Absolution is a thriller that will leave you breathless and questioning the very basis of how we live and why we love.
OMG…OMG….O-M-G – THIS book! The story is mainly set in 1997 S. Africa, though we do visit Paris and Egypt as well. Within the pages of this novel I came across loss, fear, helplessness, pain, a haunting past, an overwhelming sadness, survival, a fight for truth/justice, revelations, realisations, love & relationships, death, guilt, terrorism, a longing for peace and a desire for forgiveness.
This novel may have fictional characters, but the “story” it tells is real. Written in a way that the reader is immediately pulled into the time and place, all the emotions felt just overwhelm you. I absolutely adore Paul Hardisty’s writing style – unforgiving, real and raw but almost lyrical as the words are just beautifully strung together to get into the very heart of the reader. The narrative is phenomenal and I can hear the character’s voices as they speak. I find this series is equally plot and character driven and as shocked as I am about the events, I almost cheer Claymore and his companions in the hopes they can right the wrongs …even though I know they can’t. What was done was done. Damn! Paul Hardisty, I hope you know what an absolutely phenomenal writer you are!
I have to say that I was over the bloody moon to see Claymore Straker, Crowbar and Rania back together in Absolution, even though there was an overwhelming sadness within this novel – these characters just work so well together. Love, hate, friendship, betrayal -WOW – I was on the edge of my seat throughout! Straker is no stranger to trouble, it just finds him and unfortunately spreads like a contagious disease to anyone he knows or comes into contact with. Straker seems indestructible, but emotionally he is broken and my heart just goes out to him despite the things he does.
I adore Rania – passionate, strong but also quite vulnerable. This novel really brings out her character and feelings to the point of bursting! She needs to keep her wits about her, be strong when she feels so weak and turn a blind eye to things she may not always agree with. Can she do it?
Crowbar…YAY…Crowbar!! I LOVE him! The sheer joy on my face when he appeared on the page was indescribable! That a character alone can do this, should tell you how brilliant the author is! But..What the hell!? I can’t even say what I want to as I would spoil the story …just…what the hell!? 🤣
Absolution is defined as formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment. Did this happen? Is this the final time we’ll see Straker? Is there more story to be told … you’ll have to read this stunning piece of crime fiction to find out!
Would I recommend this book? Holy mother of the book-gods, ab-so-friggin-lutely I would! An addictive and intense story, with an hypnotic writing style that reels the reader in, this book is pure genius! Easily read as a stand-alone, I would however, urge everyone to read the whole series as it is simply stunning!